Saturday, 27 June 2009
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
Friday, 19 June 2009
Monday, 15 June 2009
....and a photo of Duart castle (a first for me!)...
.....and the folly too.Saturday we went to Iona to do the tourist thing again. Far too late in the day for Corncrake photos but we did hear plenty. Here is the wee ferry that does all the hard work..The weather looks great on the photo but it was chucking it down when we arrived. A cuppa sorted out the time we had to wait for the rain to stop. The flowers were nice.......Corncrake?....nah just a Song Thrush.......Black Corncrake?....Starling.......baby Corncrake?......baby Northern Wheatear...........and some nice views too.Sunday we did the birdwatching thing taking in WT Eagle, Golden Eagle, Arctic Tern, more Golden and WT Eagle and some flowers....Lesser Butterfly Orchid......and Bog Asphodel.Monday was back to work nicely refreshed and looking forward to a change in the weather. It was raining this morning but not windy - ideal midge weather and boy did they enjoy it, OUCH! It soon faired up and the sightings rattled in. Otter were high on the priority list today but they weren't happening to start with. We did see both the adult WT Eagles and also got to see the young one give a half-hearted flap - superb stuff. This Telegraph Eagle didn't want to be moved on so we all took photos of it...
Next stop was the Otters again and we struck lucky with two asleep on the seaweed but they were distant. We moved closer to them so we could see that it wasn't some old carpet I'd planted earlier. Otter coloured carpet is really expensive so I've stopped using it - I use Russian hats now;-)
We bagged a brief Golden Eagle before heading off for lunch via a Snipe on a post. This is starting to sound weird now - I must be tired or the drugs are kicking in! Another decent Goldie at lunch (yum) was appreciated by all but the best was yet to come. Hen Harriers are fabulous birds and none better than the male. We stopped off at a site where there are birds feeding chicks. It's a distant view of the food pass but it's worthwhile. We stood and waited until the crowd of us was virtually parted by the male bird screaming in from behind us before heading off on his hunting foray - fantastic! This was followed by a cracking view of a female bird in a different location then another male a couple of miles down the road. We saw this bird repeatedly attempt to snatch a bird from a bush - it failed but it was superb to watch. Yet another female bird gave us a fly by at our last stop of the day. This Red Deer had the last laugh though.....have some of this!
Thursday, 11 June 2009
Tuesday was similar, weatherwise, to Monday but couldn't have been more different for sightings. Again we started with the WT Eagle - stunning views - and then it went pear shaped. We located an Otter on the near shore that was swimming away from us so everyone got a view. We attempted to get in front of the beast but it had disappeared probably into the holt. While trying to relocate it we found a Dipper sitting on the shore looking a bit lost!While scanning the shore outside the shop we located a strange looking Greenshank? sporting strong colouration, thin bill and extra long legs. Any comments on this bird are welcome as I've not seen anything like it before. The more I look at it the more it looks like a Greenshank though.We located two more Dippers, an adult with a youngster, in more suitable habitat of a mountain stream. Three Adders and a Slow Worm were keeping spirits high but we were struggling for Golden Eagle. Photos of flowers won't cover the disappointment but they look pretty.A great day out but we didn't connect with the Goldies despite the effort put in.
Wednesday was looking like we would catch a few showers. I had picked up from the ferry in Craignure making for a different day for me as I don't normally do the ferry pick-ups. We started slow with a few small birds, Buzzard etc. The clouds were gathering and we hit some light drizzle. We drove out the other side of this and immediately picked up 2 Golden Eagle on a ridge - superb. One bird dropped out of sight and didn't reappear so we decided to investigate. I picked the flying bird up in the distance and almost immediately lost it again - clever me! The second bird was still sitting on the ridge so we had another look. Just as we decide to move on I relocated the flying Eagle coming back towards us so it was pointed out. It didn't take too long to realise that one of the group was watching another bird. Two Golden Eagle in flight. I checked the ridge for the sitting bird, it was still there. Suddenly another 3 Golden Eagle cleared the ridge! What was going on? None yesterday and now they are bursting out of the scenery - I'm not complaining and neither was anyone else. We bagged two close Otters at lunchtime and a third was picked up not long after.We actually bagged another 5, yes 5, Golden Eagle through the afternoon - bizarre but that's wildlife for you!
Today was a different affair again. The weather is still holding and my head is getting burnt! We started off with Mountain Hare but it was a distant view of one trying to hide. We drove round the corner and found five of them having a little meeting. Four of them scarpered and left one behind who acted all innocent until he realised he was getting framed!The Hen Harrier are starting to show again with chicks on the go they are starting to hunt regularly. We picked a male bird circling round and then he dropped his legs to reveal the prey he was carrying. The female came into sight and the food pass was made then the birds went their separate ways - fantastic. The guests were desperate to see Otters and we came up trumps with the mother and cub settling down to have a nap before moving off to do some more fishing. The best was yet to come though. A visit to the WT Eagle gave us good views of the female circling above us before flying off over the trees. The male bird was at the nest feeding the youngster. You couldn't ask for anything more. A WT Eagle appeared in the sky quite close to and we suspected the female returning but this birds tail was all wrong. It was a young bird from 2007 sporting white tags. Would this set the male off? Not a chance, he was sticking with junior. Another bird appeared - WHAT? The second bird was white tagged too. They flew around together with one bird turning upside down to touch talons with the other a couple of times before soaring up into the blue sky. A stunning display and my camera was nowhere to be seen. It was caught on video by someone else who was there though. Maybe my chance will come. I'm off for the weekend and I'll probably end up chasing the wildlife with the camera but it'll probably rain!
Sunday, 7 June 2009
I called for a bit of peace and quiet in case someone had a heart attack and we headed for a beach - what a way to calm down though. Ease yourself into the scene below.....
Yet another day of good weather today and it was a more of the same kind of day but with flowers. Eagles of both varieties were bagged early on and we spent some time looking at and smelling the flowers available. This Fragrant Orchid was just starting to flower and the smell was only just there - soon enough it will do 'like it says on the tin' as they say.